Busy and Long Day

S accompanied J to the high school she hopes to enter. Today was the first round of interviews and essay writing. There was a sign at the gate forbidding anyone but students with validated interview registration cards from entering so he spent three hours in a nearby coffee shop. I'll go with her on Monday to see the results. Cross your fingers. More than J realizes is riding on the results.

I had to wait until the other three made it out the door before heading downtown for my full course of tests, consultations and I.V.s. L had a headache and I almost decided to stay home but as he wasn't feverish or nauseous, I hid the cord for the Wii remote control and told him to stay in bed until S and J returned in a few hours. I was more than an hour and a half late for my appointment but fortunately the computerized system enabled my doctor to know that I was not in the building and he filled the slot with someone who had arrived early for a later appointment. I had to get my blood drawn and also an x-ray before talking with him. He was as thorough as usual and even typed in that my daughter was having her entrance exam for high school on my electronic record making me chuckle. He also imput my travel plans for March so I'm waiting on J's high school results before purchasing any tickets.

The x-ray showed that there is no dramatic tumor growth since my first round of Taxotere on the 6th of January. I'll have a CT scan in early March instead of this week as the results should be more clear after two or three rounds. With all the delays, many other people got places in the chemo room before me and I had to wait for more than an hour for a bed. I didn't start my I.V. until close to 1:00, when I usually finish and head home. I used the time productively shopping for tuna, eating a few plates of conveyor belt sushi, picking up my presciption for two days of anti-nausea pills and paying my hospital bill. Then I had a three hour nap while my superzap stuff was pumped in through my port one drip at a time. I got home around 5:00.


Run Run Run

Wish M good luck in this weekend at the annual Ekiden (a relay race type marathon). She's been on and off and on again this week at school with a cold and then a stomach bug but she seems well enough to run her 4 kilometers on Sunday.

Then J has a test and a group interview for a one in five chance at a place in her first choice high school. If she gets in we won't have to jump through all the hoops of taking tests for her second choice (the safety net) and then later for this first choice place place. First (and hopefully only) phase results will be posted on February 2nd.

I have the next round of Taxotere on Tuesday and a CT scan on Friday (I'll see the results on February 3rd) and will hopefully be able to make some spring break plans.

Here's hoping the week goes well for all.


Looking Good

M got a "makeover" at a new hair salon as her Christmas present and was quite pleased with how manageable her locks are and how luxurious the service was on her day of pampering. The staff was pleasant and hopeful that I'd also sign up for a haircut (as I looked like I needed one rather desperately). I decided against personal pampering of the hair type as I'm probably going to be bald by January 20th and wouldn't want to deprive the kids of any barbershop fun later. She got the full treatment, cut, treatment, straightening, massage, a beverage...and was given a voucher so that friends she introduces get a 50% discount on their first visit.

A few days later, she decided to brighten her hair for the winter holidays with what she thought was a temporary coloring. She, of course, didn't consult me or anyone else in the house, or even read past "sprinkle on, wait, rinse" on the outside of the box, which she immediately discarded under several layers of potato peels and other trash, where it wouldn't be discovered. Then she wore a hat for three days, thinking we wouldn't be suspicious because sleeping in a hat keeps the heat in and it's been so cold lately. I finally told her that I knew that she'd done something to her hair and that I wouldn't be angry but would she please show me.

Helig ko! (Swedish for Holy Cow according to an online translator) All she needs are blue contact lenses! She insisted that it would wash out in a week or two but agreed to let me dye her hair back to caramel brown if it didn't before school started on Thursday. She went off on Thursday, confident that nobody would notice...J came home saying that the teachers had discussed the "situation" and that her teacher had asked her to tell M that the artificial color was not appropriate for school. M said her teachers asked her about it and that she explained that she'd thought it would be temporary (yeah, until it grows out in a year or two). We had a home spa night and she's back to brunette (still artificial, but it won't look so strange as it grows out).

J needed to do something to sharpen her image for the upcoming high school entrance test and interview so we took the 50% off voucher and headed off for another afternoon at the hair salon (minus the straightening and treatment). She has fairly short hair so she was worried about having enough for the stylist to work with but she ended up with quite a nice cut. She was impressed by the attention she got and enjoyed the massage too. With the discount, is was 1,950 yen for the whole experience. L and N had 1,000 yen / 10 minute haircuts last week at another nearby place so all in all, the kids look quite presentable, for a change. J said that the stylist mentioned that I could use the discount voucher that she gave her to enjoy a haircut too (as three weeks had passed since the previous attempt to entice me to cut my hair and it was even bigger now) and J explained that I'd be bald soon. Maybe next fall...

I had Taxotere after my regular Herceptin drip and A pre-chemo steroid drip last Tuesday and came home with a three day prescription for Decadron (the steroid) to keep me from having adverse reactions to the Taxotere. Of course the steroid makes me feel yucky in its own way, but I think that the week went fairly well. I hosted J's brass band for lunch on Wednesday and helped out at a school event on Thursday, watching over the 9th graders as they made campfires and cooked pots of vegetable and pork miso stew. Now I have to clean the closet out to look for my stash of hats as I'll probably need them in a week or so.